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stunning 'Red Silver' Helleborus foetidus

Posted by woadwoman z7 Oregon (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 15, 04 at 21:56

I've fallen in love with a new Helleborus foetidus, and, appropriately, got some more plants at Gossler Farms Nursery in Eugene, Oregon over the Valentine's Day weekend. This dramatic plant is a fairly new introduction from Northwest Garden Nursery in Eugene, owned by Ernie and Marietta O'Byrne. One of the parents is 'Sopron' from a selection Will McLewin made from seedlings he collected in Sopron, Hungary.

I bought some 'Red Silver' plants in November, and they look terrific with so many plants in our garden. It was hard to get them planted out, as I kept moving the containers around and liked them in so many places. So, obviously, I had to get some more!

'Red Silver' has a silvery sheen over its narrow, dark green foliage and red leaf petioles and stems. The deeply-dissected, narrow foliage makes an excellent backdrop for H. x hybridus flowers, especially those in the pink to purple range, so I'm dropping it behind or between plants of those colors. It contrasts nicely with H. argutifolius. I even put a clump near some dwarf santolina!

If you can't get to Gossler Farms yourself, it's in their on-line catalog at A one-gallon plant is $12. Roger Gossler, who is a good and reliable plantsman, says it comes true from seed.

In the Pacific Northwest, it seems to like a good bit of sun, but "sun" is a bit different concept in places like Seattle, Portland and Eugene than it is in many other places. I'm trying a patch in "real sun" here, where the summers are hot and bright, and will report back on how it does. It would be interesting to have a sun-loving foetidus to play with, wouldn't it?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: stunning 'Red Silver' Helleborus foetidus

I've had Red Silver in my garden for a couple of years now, but it hasn't flourished for me as well as H.f. 'Wester Flisk', which it very closely resembles aside from the silver overcast to the foliage'

I also have a variegated foetidus I have lost the tag to, so if you are aware of what this beauty is, I'd appreciate the correct name.

RE: stunning 'Red Silver' Helleborus foetidus

The variegated one is possibly 'Pacific coast'.
I'm just back from skiing in the Pyrenees, and saw hundreds of H. foetidus in the wild, many growing in rock and scree that you wouldn't believe would support anything, lots with the purplish collar round the flower. Growing at the snowline and below down into the villages along the roadsides. Brilliant.

Cheers Greenmanplants

RE: stunning 'Red Silver' Helleborus foetidus

If it helps, Pacific frost is a variegated argutifolius. The onle variegated foetidus I've seen is a yellow green marbling called gold bullion.

RE: stunning 'Red Silver' Helleborus foetidus

There is also 'Gold Bullion' foetidus.

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